Cotton Ranch tees it up |

Cotton Ranch tees it up

Daily Staff Report

But there’s no snow in Gypsum, which means it’s golf season at Cotton Ranch.

All 18 holes are open and the the golf course turned on the irrigation system Thursday. The grass is greening, tulips and daffodils are peeking out and the course is in good condition. The Ute Indians, who wintered in the Cotton Ranch area roughly 150 years ago, called the Gypsum Creek valley “The Hole in the Sky,” and who’s to argue.

Cotton Ranch has named Sean Riley as the new head golf professional. Riley was the head pro at the Vail Golf Course for two years. He was also an assistant pro at Columbine Country Club and Cherry Creek Country Club in the Denver area. He will be heading up Cotton Ranch’s teaching program.

Cotton Ranch is unique in the valley for several reasons. Not only can it boast the longest playing season in the area, but also the largest outdoor pool in the county and a country-club ambience. The Pete Dye golf course features two distinctly styles of golf – both links and desert play. giving the golfer a challenging variety. The lower portion of the course is in the valley with water coming into play at most holes. The fifth, sixth, seventh holes and eighth tee boxes are located on the upper mesa, which distinctly resembles a desert course. Juniper, Pinion Pine and Sage surround those picturesque – and challenging – holes.

The Cotton Ranch clubhouse underwent many improvements this winter and has budgeted more than $100,000 for capital upgrades beginning this spring. Among the upgrades are two new restroom facilities on the course.

Although Cotton Ranch is a membership course, limited public play is available, currently for $50, with cart and range balls included. Memberships are available for $37,000. For tee times call (970) 524-6200.

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